76ers vs. Trail Blazers Preview: Can Portland Continue to Defend Home Court?

Action Network contributor Shayne Trail previews Saturday's NBA game between the Philadelphia 76ers and Portland Trail Blazers.

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76ers vs. Trail Blazers Odds

76ers Odds +6
Trail Blazers Odds -6
Over/Under 217.5
Time 10 p.m. ET
TV NBA League Pass
Odds via FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute NBA odds here.

The Portland Trail Blazers and the Philadelphia 76ers meet for an early-season rematch.

The Sixers continue their long West Coast road trip without Joel Embiid who remains in the NBA’s health and safety protocols. Danny Green will also be sidelined with a hamstring injury, while Matisse Thybulle is questionable as he works his way back from COVID. Be sure to check our FantasyLabs news feed for the latest injury info.

Can the Trail Blazers stay hot at home after picking up their best win of the season, a 20-point comeback win against the Chicago Bulls? Let’s take a look a how both teams stack up entering tonight’s game.

76ers Have Cooled Down From Hot Start

The early-season success seems to be wearing off for the Sixers who are just 1-5 straight up and against the spread in their last six games.

The Sixers’ recent woes in their past five games have given them the fourth-worst Net Rating at -7.8 per 100 possessions, ahead of only the Houston Rockets, Los Angeles Lakers and Orlando Magic over that span. In this same five-game span the Sixers have allowed four out of their last five opponents to score over 110 points, and have a 115.5 Defensive Rating, which ranks 28th in the NBA.

Philly’s win against the Trail Blazers at home to open the season feels like an anomaly, considering their recent history. The Sixers are 0-4-1 ATS in the last five meetings in Portland and are 1-6-1 ATS in the last eight meetings. It’s safe to say Portland has had the better success of the two teams.

If the Sixers want to compete with high-scoring teams like the Trail Blazers, they will need more production out of their starters like Tobias Harris who has only topped 20 points one time in his last four games on this road trip.

Trail Blazers Protect Home Court

The Trail Blazers are finally finding their rhythm after a sluggish start to the season. Currently standing at 8-8, their home record has been terrific so far at 7-1, the NBA’s second-best home record to start the season.

The Blazers rank third in the NBA in Offensive Rating (115.4) on their home floor, and shoot 39% from behind the arc at the Moda Center, per NBA Advanced Stats, which ranks second in the NBA. This numbers drop significantly when they are on the road — 104.7 Offensive Rating and 31.3% on 3s.

Key contributors to this team’s home success and recent turnaround was point guard Damian Lillard who has had a slow start to the season, encapsulated by his measly four points vs. the Indiana Pacers. In six games since, he’s averaging 24.3 points on 45.0% shooting, 7.3 assists and 4.8 rebounds per game.

His partner in crime, CJ McCollum, who is averaging 20.5 points per game should have a solid bounce-back performance after an uncharacteristically poor showing at home against the Bull where he score just nine points on 4-of-14 shooting. McCollum, like the team as a whole is drastically more efficient at home (55.7% Effective Field Goal Percentage) than he is on the road (47.3%).

76ers-Trail Blazers Pick

Since Embiid was been sidelined on Nov. 8, books have listed the Sixers as underdogs in all but one matchup. Prior to their much needed win against the Denver Nuggets, the Sixers had failed to cover by an average of 8.2 points per game, according to Bet Labs.

Simply put, the 76ers are a team to fade right now, especially on the road.

Since the 2019 season when the Sixers are a road dog in two consecutive games, Philadelphia is just  3-12 ATS per SDQL. When the Sixers are are getting two or more points on the road since 2019 season, they are 9-21 ATS per SDQL.

Given the Sixers’ depth issues and the Trail Blazers being a different monster at home, I think we’ll see the Blazers get revenge against Philadelphia in the Rose City. This line opened at -6.5 and is down to -6 at the time of writing. If it gets to -5, I would fire a bet on the Trail Blazers.

Pick: Bet Trail Blazers at -5 or better